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EU and US renew calls for end to retaliatory wine tariffs

Published:  10 November, 2020

The Brussels-based CEEV (Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins) and Wine Institute of California have renewed calls for a suspension of retaliatory tariffs on wine in response to the trans-Atlantic dispute over Boeing aircraft subsidies.

The joint call for “de-escalation of trade tensions” was triggered by the European Commission’s publication of a list of US products that subject to retaliatory tariffs in the wake of the recent WTO decision on subsidies for the aircraft manufacturer.

While wine avoided inclusion on that list, the US continues to impose tariffs on EU wines, instigated in October 2019, to the detriment of both EU-based producers and US importers.

The US and EU are the largest export wine territories respectively for each country, with total cross-Atlantic trade standing at €4.53bn (US$5.36bn) in 2019.

“The glass is half empty,” said Jean-Marie Barillère, president of CEEV.

“While the EU has, fortunately, decided to spare US wines from punitive tariffs, EU wines have been hit by additional tariffs for months, causing irreparable damage to wine companies and the whole supply chain. We continue our call for the EU and US authorities to preserve and strengthen the bilateral wine partnership by eliminating all retaliatory tariffs imposed on EU wines, and refraining from targeting wine in unrelated trade disputes.”

CEEV represents 23 national EU wine organisations, from 12 members states, with additional representation of organisations in Switzerland, Ukraine and a consortium of four leading European wine companies, collectively accounting for over 90% of European wine exports.

The Wine Institute represents more than 1,000 California producers and affiliated businesses, with the state accounting for 95% of total US exports.